Sarah Irving

I do things with words, mainly English and Arabic

He called Desmond Tutu a WHAT?

They’re a classy lot, these Sydney Zionists.
On Wednesday night, I was lucky enough to be invited to a small ceremony at which Fiona Byrne, the Mayor of Marrickville, was presented with a letter from the nigh-legendary anti-apartheid campaigner Archbishop Desmond Tutu, congratulating her and her council on their strong – if at the moment unsuccessful – stand in favour of boycotting Israeli products.
Predictably enough, the Archbishop’s letter has caused yet more expulsions of hot air amongst Israel’s supporters in Australia. The Australian managed an (even for it) spectacularly arrogant bit of posturing in this editorial, which trots out the demonstrably bollocks notion that Israel’s citizens of Palestinian origin have equal rights with those of Jewish descent. And tries to argue that Tutu, whilst being justly commended for his work in South Africa, isn’t capable of getting his pretty little head around a situation as complex as that of the Middle East.
But the absolute cracker comes from the comments section of a brief story on J-Wire, an site which offers ‘Jewish Online News from Australia and New Zealand’. In it, one Lou Finn says: “Desmond, get yourself a barrow in the market place, you beetle you”. Now, I’m not quite sure what that actually refers to – I can’t work out if it’s specifically racist (mayate, or black beetle, is a racial slur in Spanish, but I’m not sure about English). But it sure ain’t a compliment.
The original J-Wire page is here, but in case they decide to take the comment down, there’s a screenshot here.

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2 comments on “He called Desmond Tutu a WHAT?

  1. Dwight Towers
    June 9, 2011

    Classy, as you say. Still, they dish it out to anyone and everyone… They’d dish it out to Mandela, they’d probably reckon Moshe Dayan and Menachim Begin were far too dovish…

  2. iResistDe4iAm
    June 10, 2011

    “Desmond, get yourself a barrow in the market place, you beetle you”

    I’m not quite sure what the commenter is getting at either. Although is sounds patronising, it seems to be a play on the Beatles (hence beetle) song “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da”. It’s probably the most well known song that includes the name “Desmond”. The opening lines are…

    “Desmond has a barrow in the market place,
    Molly is the singer in a band.”

    http://www.thebeatles.com/#/songs/Ob-La-Di_Ob-La-Da_White

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